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Claudia  Munoz Lawyer

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Divorce & Family Law, Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support

Separation and Divorce are often difficult decisions, which will affect many aspects of your life. You probably have many questions, and you want to k... (more)

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Tamar Ouzounian

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Divorce & Family Law, Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support

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Gerald L. Kane

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Fabiola B. Karls

Estate Administration, Family Law, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Wills & Probate
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Veronika Melamed

Divorce & Family Law, Paternity, Child Support, Child Custody
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Ann Michael

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Pat Huth

Business Organization, Elder Law, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Litigation
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Nelson Frederic Cutter

Divorce & Family Law, Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  37 Years

Hugh Alan Lipton

Family Law, Child Custody
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LEGAL TERMS

ABANDONMENT (OF A CHILD)

A parent's failure to provide any financial assistance to or communicate with his or her child over a period of time. When this happens, a court may deem the ch... (more...)
A parent's failure to provide any financial assistance to or communicate with his or her child over a period of time. When this happens, a court may deem the child abandoned by that parent and order that person's parental rights terminated. Abandonment also describes situations in which a child is physically abandoned -- for example, left on a doorstep, delivered to a hospital or put in a trash can. Physically abandoned children are usually placed in orphanages and made available for adoption.

GUARDIAN

An adult who has been given the legal right by a court to control and care for a minor or her property. Someone who looks after a child's property is called a '... (more...)
An adult who has been given the legal right by a court to control and care for a minor or her property. Someone who looks after a child's property is called a 'guardian of the estate.' An adult who has legal authority to make personal decisions for the child, including responsibility for his physical, medical and educational needs, is called a 'guardian of the person.' Sometimes just one person will be named to take care of all these tasks. An individual appointed by a court to look after an incapacitated adult may also be known as a guardian, but is more frequently called a conservator.

COMMUNITY PROPERTY

A method for defining the ownership of property acquired during marriage, in which all earnings during marriage and all property acquired with those earnings ar... (more...)
A method for defining the ownership of property acquired during marriage, in which all earnings during marriage and all property acquired with those earnings are considered community property and all debts incurred during marriage are community property debts. Community property laws exist in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Compare equitable distribution and separate property.

DIVORCE

The legal termination of marriage. All states require a spouse to identify a legal reason for requesting a divorce when that spouse files the divorce papers wit... (more...)
The legal termination of marriage. All states require a spouse to identify a legal reason for requesting a divorce when that spouse files the divorce papers with the court. These reasons are referred to as grounds for a divorce.

FOSTER CARE

Court-ordered care provided to children who are unable to live in their own homes, usually because their parents have abused or neglected them. Foster parents h... (more...)
Court-ordered care provided to children who are unable to live in their own homes, usually because their parents have abused or neglected them. Foster parents have a legal responsibility to care for their foster children, but do not have all the rights of a biological parent--for example, they may have limited rights to discipline the children, to raise them according to a certain religion or to authorize non-emergency medical procedures for them. The foster parents do not become the child's legal parents unless the biological parents' rights are terminated by a court and the foster parents adopt the child. This is not typically encouraged, as the goal of foster care is to provide temporary support for the children until they can be returned to their parents. See also foster child.

UNCONTESTED DIVORCE

A divorce automatically granted by a court when the spouse who is served with a summons and complaint for divorce fails to file a formal response with the court... (more...)
A divorce automatically granted by a court when the spouse who is served with a summons and complaint for divorce fails to file a formal response with the court. Many divorces proceed this way when the spouses have worked everything out and there's no reason for both to go to court -- and pay the court costs.

DESERTION

The voluntary abandonment of one spouse by the other, without the abandoned spouse's consent. Commonly, desertion occurs when a spouse leaves the marital home f... (more...)
The voluntary abandonment of one spouse by the other, without the abandoned spouse's consent. Commonly, desertion occurs when a spouse leaves the marital home for a specified length of time. Desertion is a grounds for divorce in states with fault divorce.

STIRPES

A term used in wills that refers to descendants of a common ancestor or branch of a family.

MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE

A document that provides proof of a marriage, typically issued to the newlyweds a few weeks after they file for the certificate in a county office. Most states ... (more...)
A document that provides proof of a marriage, typically issued to the newlyweds a few weeks after they file for the certificate in a county office. Most states require both spouses, the person who officiated the marriage and one or two witnesses to sign the marriage certificate; often this is done just after the ceremony.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Guardianship of Ann S.

... Generally, due process requires some showing of parental unfitness before rights are terminated, to protect the parent's fundamental interest in child custody. ... But this is not a case in which the unwed father at any time had, or sought, actual or legal custody of his child. ...

In re Angel L.

... The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA; Fam. ... As it read in 1996, the UCCJA provided that a court competent to decide child custody matters has jurisdiction to make a child custody determination by initial or modification decree if "[t]his state ... ...

In re SB

... [5] Form JV-135 was entitled "NOTICE OF INVOLUNTARY CHILD CUSTODY PROCEEDINGS FOR AN INDIAN CHILD." The use of form JV-135 was mandated by the Judicial Council for notice to Indian tribes of proceedings involving the custody of Indian children. ...